There are millions of people in India who have good feelings about Nepal and have ardent desire to visit this country for several reasons including historical ones
There are millions of people in India who have good feelings about Nepal and have ardent desire to visit this country for several reasons including historical ones. Nepal is the only Hindu nation in the world today and, for this reason, millions of Hindus living around the world wish Nepal well and want Nepal to remain healthy and prosperous. Of course, there are some border disputes with India which are not new and can be sorted out with the Narendra Modi government, which would always want a peaceful relation with Hindu country Nepal. The present time was ideal for Nepal to sort out its issues with India. Instead, the Nepalese government has chosen the path of confrontation, which is very unfortunate and certainly not in the interest of Nepal.
Today, even as most countries in the world feel concerned about the territorial expansion policies of China and the dictatorial government that China has, a large section of the world community are surprised that the present government of Nepal is plunging itself into the lap of the Chinese government. Many people are wondering about this counterproductive approach is being followed by the Nepal government?
One guess that the political observers make is that the present government of Nepal has somehow, for whatever reasons, has developed deep hatred for India and consider India as the enemy and seem to think that enemy’s enemy should be the friend. This prejudiced mindset appears to be the reason for Nepalese government going out of the way to befriend the Chinese government.
The level of hatred that the present government of Nepal has unwisely developed towards India is clearly evident from the series of actions that Nepal's government has taken over the last few weeks. It has unilaterally changed the map, claiming parts of India belong to Nepal. The Nepal government has blocked the maintenance work in the embankment on Gantek Barrage by putting up a barricade on its border with India. The Nepal government has declared that Nepalese man marrying a woman from outside the country would mean that the bride would not be recognized by the Nepal government for seven years. It is known that cross-border marriages between Nepalese men and women in India are common.
One wonders as to what would be the next strategy of the Nepal government to displease and irritate India?
People with an understanding of the ground realities in Nepal (sane voice in Nepal) would readily know that Nepal has nothing to gain by spoiling its relationship with India. Are such sane voices in Nepal heard adequately by the Nepalese government? Are these issues knowledgeably discussed in the media in Nepal? Considering the strange and quixotic behavior of the Nepal government, many people think that the present rulers in Nepal are being guided by the Chinese government to pick up friction with India.
Nepal has already shot down an Indian in the border and many people wonder whether more such incidents would take place; or whether the armed forces from Nepal would try to enter India to occupy the territory that is now claimed by Nepal. If this happens, India will have no alternative other than sending its armed forces to resist the incursions from Nepal. If and when such a conflict would happen, it is possible that China would enter into a defense pact with Nepal and send its armed forces to Nepal to protect “Nepal’s territorial integrity".
Then, the Chinese army would not go back. China would make it look as if it would be a conflict between India and Nepal but it would really be a conflict with India and China, with Nepal being used as Trojan horse by China. If that would happen, that would be the end of Nepal and gradually Nepal would become another Tibet.
No well-wisher of Nepal anywhere in the world would like this to happen. It is time that the sane voice in Nepal should be heard and the concerned people should ensure that such a voice would be heard. Nepal is a beautiful country with people known for several special and laudable attributes. It would be tragic if Nepal would go the Tibet way.
The cry of Tibetans should make the people of Nepal imagine the grim possibilities - if Nepal would go under the grip of China and ultimately become an extended territory of China. By their short-sighted approach and what appears to be prejudiced behavior against India, the present rulers of Nepal are making a historical mistake and one only hopes that they would realize this soon and ensure that further moves towards catastrophe would be checked.
(The writer is Trustee, NGO Nandini Voice for the Deprived, Chennai. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)